Grandma occasionally went to the newspaper office and asked for scrap paper end pieces. In the days before sticky notes, this was the paper she used to make grocery lists and to leave notes on the door, for campers in the camper court, that promised when she would be returning to her office (a.k.a., kitchen). I used to beg to go get paper from downstairs. Opening the dresser drawer, I would find multiple stacks of different colored and different textured paper, perfectly organized by color and size.
Our family has been talking a lot about personality around here, chatting about the Enneagram personality test. Have you heard of it? The descriptions of personalities hit home for many of us. I score as Enneagram 1. All you need to know is that means Grandma’s perfectly organized paper drawer was it for me. Everything in order equals heaven.
Motto: There’s a place for everything and everything in its place. (And if you leave it out of place or not facing the “correct” direction, I might have to hurt you. #issues)
When Grandma went to be with the Lord, we found her home perfectly in order. She had a file with all of the information her children would need after she passed. She had saved boxes from new items she had bought, and they were neatly on the shelves in the garage. A gift of order.
We are made in the image of God, and I think God made me and Grandma with an extra dose of his love for all things in their proper place.
So can we talk for a minute about the mess that is our minds sometimes? I was just talking to a friend about this. Thoughts and feelings can be like one terrifying junk drawer that might contain something useful but you fear looking for it.
Imagine God stopping by The Container Store before coming to your house. In his sack is something wonderful –a plastic drawer organizer with bins for sorting. Imagine him dumping the contents of your junk drawer out on your kitchen counter –a worse mess! But then the magic begins.
Truth goes in this little bin.
Lies go in this little bin.
See how they were all twisted up in a heap before? Tangled in a mess? Not anymore! Now you put that organizer back in the drawer, and every time you go to get something from now on, you can more quickly discern truth from the lies. And it’s ordered so well, that when it’s time to put something into the drawer, you can take a second to decide where it goes. A place for everything.
All the things you used to think and just toss in the drawer without looking –do those things go in the truth bin or the lies bin?
All the things people say to you and you would just toss in the drawer without looking –do those things go in the truth bin or the lies bin?
For me, the orderly personality of mine also comes with a sharp and unrelenting inner critic. As I do things throughout the day, I often hear a sharp voice of judgment that I have failed. It’s only been recently that the Lord has been helping me sort out what is the lie of my critical inner voice versus the truth of his much more kind and helpful Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 14:33, Paul says:
God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (NIV)
God wants to take your mind from its junk-drawer state of chaos to a tidy, clean, peaceful state. This is who he is. This is what he wants to do for you, if you’ll cooperate with him. He doesn’t want you to feel all jumbled up inside, everything a painful and debilitating mess.
So the work for the day is sorting. Hold up every idea–the ones that come at you from others and the ones that bubble up in your mind–and ask God where they should go: Truth bin or lie bin. Get it sorted properly and experience his peace in your mind.